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Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, former nominee for Veterans Affairs secretary, leaves Dirksen Building after a meeting on Capitol Hill on April 24, 2018. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson’s decision to remove himself for consideration as the next Secretary of Veterans Affairs was the right move. Only a two-star officer, he lacked relevant experience running a large agency, and the congressional investigations found multiple complaints regarding his tenure as the White House physician.

The big picture: As Lisa Rein writes for The Washington Post, there are a large number of senior VA officials leaving under intense scrutiny from the White House amid a lack of leadership. In this type of environment, a VA Secretary with a four-star background would have a better chance of success.

Jackson was a poor selection, but tapping a more senior military officer for this position has merit. There are many retiring four-star generals who are fully capable to lead a large organization like the VA, and possess all of the requisite experiences that Jackson lacked: strong leadership, experience heading a large organization and immersion in the perspective of, and promises made to, America's veterans.

A four-star military officer, vetted by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, would bridge the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs and ensure their much-needed integration. Support for America’s veterans is extensive, and a senior military officer that can connect immediately to the mission, the employees and the veterans they serve would be a great step toward providing the support veterans need.

The bottom line: To find a leader of veterans, the Trump administration would do well to turn to the institutions that produce them. A four-star military officer coming directly from the Defense Department could provide the VA with the direction it needs.

Neal Duckworth is a senior director in the Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education program and a former U.S. intelligence officer.

Go deeper

Justice Department drops insider trading inquiry against Sen. Richard Burr

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) walking through the Senate Subway in the U.S. Capitol in December 2020. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

The Department of Justice told Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) on Tuesday that it will not move forward with insider trading charges against him.

Why it matters: The decision, first reported by the New York Times, effectively ends the DOJ's investigation into the senator's stock sell-off that occurred after multiple lawmakers were briefed about the coronavirus' potential economic toll. Burr subsequently stepped down as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Netflix tops 200 million global subscribers

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Netflix said that it added another 8.5 million global subscribers last quarter, bringing its total number of paid subscribers globally to more than 200 million.

The big picture: Positive fourth-quarter results show Netflix's resiliency, despite increased competition and pandemic-related production headwinds.

Janet Yellen plays down debt, tax hike concerns in confirmation hearing

Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen at an event in December. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Janet Yellen, Biden's pick to lead the Treasury Department, pushed back against two key concerns from Republican senators at her confirmation hearing on Tuesday: the country's debt and the incoming administration's plans to eventually raise taxes.

Driving the news: Yellen — who's expected to win confirmation — said spending big now will prevent the U.S. from having to dig out of a deeper hole later. She also said the Biden administration's priority right now is coronavirus relief, not raising taxes.